Markets Round Up on 19th October 2017.

Stock Markets

US stocks closed last night at record heights led by technology companies (led by IBM) and banks amid a raft of quarterly earnings reports. The Dow industrial average closed above 23,000 for the first time at 23,157.6 while the S&P500 rose 0.1% to 2561.3 while  the NASDAQ hovered at 6624.2 .

Major indexes in Asia were mixed this morning as investors digested a barrage of economic data releases out of China.  The Hong Kong Hang Seng fell 1.9% and the Chinese CSI300 fell 0.33%. The Korean KOSPI likewise fell 0.4%. But Japanese stocks  rose as the Nikkei climbed 0.4%.

As Spain moves ahead with shutting down Catalan government and concerns rose over the Chinese economy, European stocks fell with the Spanish IBEX leading the way down 0.75%. The Euro Stoxx 5o fell 0.5% and German and French stocks fell 0.4% and 0.3% respectively.

In the UK, n the 30th anniversary of Black Monday shares in London were weaker but thankfully nowhere near the crash of 1987, indeed a rather insipid 19 points down or 0.3%, closing at 7253 on the FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 fell 0.6% to 20,131.5.

US Shares have opened this afternoon sharply down, pulling back from record highs, amid a broad decline that was led by technology stocks and disappointing quarterly reports from major companies.


The pound  is down slightly at €1.112 Euros, $1. 3154 US Dollars.


Oil prices slipped, as OPEC-led supply cuts failed to counter tensions in the Middle East and lower U.S. production due to hurricane-enforced closures with WTI at 51.37 and Brent at 57.25.

Gold touched the lowest in more than one week but then recovered to $1287.8, as the dollar stood firm and then rallied on rising U.S. Treasury yields, with investors focusing on who would replace Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve.


China’s economy grew by 6.8% in the third quarter of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday, cooling slightly from the 6.9% growth rate in the first six months of the year. Growth was supported by strong retail sales and exports, however, experts warned that China’s soaring debt posed financial risks and could further slow the economy. The government has been promising to deleverage the economy but has instead used debt to support its construction sector and underperforming state-owned enterprises.

Japan posted a merchandise trade surplus of 670.17 billion yen in September, the Ministry of Finance said on Thursday. That beat forecasts for a surplus of 556.8 billion yen following the downwardly revised 112.6 billion yen surplus in August (originally 113.6 billion yen). Exports climbed 14.1% on year 6.811 trillion yen, missing forecasts for a gain of 15.0% and down from 18.1% in the previous month

Retail sales suffered an unexpectedly sharp fall of 0.8% in September, reversing a jump in August, according to the Office for National Statistics. It meant that third-quarter retail growth slowed to a year-on-year rate of 1.5%, its lowest since the second quarter of 2013. The figures come at the Bank of England contemplates its first interest rate rise in a decade. Sterling fell as traders bet the data made imminent rate rise less likely.

UK financial regulators and the Serious Fraud Office are to review if banks HSBC and Standard Chartered are linked to a South Africa corruption scandal. It comes after Lord Peter Hain said the banks may “inadvertently have been conduits” for laundered money. The Labour peer told the House of Lords that up to £400m of illicit funds may have been moved by the banks. His concerns relate to links between South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and a wealthy business family, the Guptas.

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy is expected to press ahead with Article 155 to suspend autonomy for Catalonia after regional president Carles Puigdemont refused to revoke his suspended declaration of independence. The Madrid government had set a deadline of 10:00 local time on Thursday for a response from the head of the Generalitat, who provided a last-minute letter addressed to Rajoy.

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